When you come across Chinese tea, you might have heard people talking about grandpa style brewing. Have you wondered what kind of brewing technique this is or if it involved an array of tools to brew for grandpas?
Actually, all you need is really a cup, preferable a tall glass cup. You eyeball your tea leave and pour in some water, and viola! your tea is ready. People would usually keep topping water throughout the day until there’s zero flavor left. It’s a very care free and easy way to enjoying your tea, especially if you are busy working or chatting away. It's also a beautiful sight to see your tea leaves unfurl.
While it supposed to be freestyle there are still a few rules of thumb to brew an awesome grandpa style tea:
- Since you will be steeping the tea leave indefinitely, you will use very little amount. You are welcome to top up some mid way but a little goes a long way.
- Water temperature is key. Generally, we would use low temp water to start, especially green tea, which helps not releasing too much of the tannins and astringency. But for subsequent brewing, you will need hotter water to help bringing up the overall temp. Just play around a few times and you will get a hang of it.
- Top up your water when you drank 1/3 of the tea. That way the flavor would ease away slowly and gradually.
- It’s also a great way to squeeze the last bit of flavor out after you gongfucha brewed your tea.
When this is probably the most common brewing method in China (If you go to a teahouse, you would see many people, not just grandpa, holding a glass mug chatting away), there isn’t a name for it. Guess it is just a second nature to make tea this way that people don’t really need to talk about it.
So, who came up with “Grandpa Style” for the English tea world? It’s Dr. Lawrence Zhang (aka Marshaln), a self-proclaimed tea addict based in Hong Kong with deep knowledge on tea and tea culture. Grandpa style brewing is a tribute to his grandfather who drinks tea this way, and in our opinion a perfect name that encapsulated the essence of this freestyle brewing.